Past Indefinite Tense

In Past Indefinite Tense we talk about the action as it just took place in immediate past.

Forms of verb
When sentence is converted into negative or interrogative then 2nd form is changed into 1st form, for example; he understood and he didn’t understand. She washed cloths and she didn’t wash cloths. The detail of forms of the verb is as follows.

  • 2nd form (only in the positive sentence which is neither negative nor interrogative)
  • 1st form (In negative and Interrogative sentence when did is used)

Auxiliary (helping verb)
The auxiliary (did) is only used in negative or interrogative sentences, not in the positives sentences. Did is the only auxiliary that is used with all subjects.

  • Did (with all subjects)

When sentence is converted into negative then not is used with the auxiliary. You can use the short form too in which not is used with auxiliary as one word. Below is the example to make you understand.

  • Did not (didn’t in short)

While making interrogative the auxiliaries are used at the beginning of sentence.

  • Did is used at the beginning of the sentence.

Examples of Positive sentences

  1. I understood that I was being trapped.
  2. They played well.
  3. He did a great job.
  4. They fought over the petty matter.
  5. I didn’t believe that to be the true story.

Examples of did

  1. He didn’t avail the opportunity. (Negative sentence)
  2. She didn’t come regularly. (Negative sentence)
  3. Did he eat rice? (Interrogative sentence)
  4. I didn’t understand what to do. (Negative sentence)
  1. You did not study. (Negative sentence)
  2. Did they cry for help? (Interrogative sentence)

Note: Remember when did is used with the positive sentences it means that you are going to emphasize. Thus in positive sentences the use of auxiliary in Past Indefinite Tense is for the emphasis.


  1. I did eat my lunch.
  2. He did guide me well.
  3. I did understand that the patient was serious.